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August 17, 2022: National / International Current Affairs
1. PA passes prohibition of loan interest bill
• Chief Minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi on August 16, 2022 promised to introduce a rehef package for the people of Punjab wherein the ban on recruitments would be lifted, doctors and teachers` salaries would be increased and special persons would be accommodated.
• Addressing the Punjab Assembly session after passing the prohibition of interest bill on private loans and the Punjab privileges (repeal and revival) bill, he said time has come when the nation, which suffered a lot at the hands of PML-N, should be given relief.
• `The PML-N banned recruitments but it is the PTI government that is going to lift it in coming days. Emergency wards in hospitals would be upgraded and salaries of those doctors, who served in those emergency wards, would be increased by three per cent. The visually impaired persons, whom the PML-N treated with an iron hand, will be fully accommodated. It is regrettable that they were baton-charged by the PML-N government although they were not able to see the very baton beating them. Similarly, the salaries of the teachers would be increased and MPAs would be given funds for development projects in their respective constituencies which had been deprived in the PML-N`s regime,` he said
2. Proposal to raise drug prices rejected
• The federal cabinet has turned down a summary moved by the Ministry of National Health Services seeking an increase in the prices of at least 35 medicines, which may force people to `opt for costly alternatives` as the pharmaceutical industry fears the `hasty decision` will result in the discontinuation of these relatively cheaper drugs.
• According to a statement issued by the Prime Minister`s Office on August 16, 2022, the federal cabinet unanimously rejected the summary moved by the ministry and ordered that the prices of medicines should not be increased without approval from the federal government.
• An official of the Ministry of NHS said that these 35 medicines included anti-cancer medication, painkillers, and some antibiotics.
• `It was suggested that their prices be increased as hardship cases, but the federal cabinet rejected the summary,` he said, adding that the decision will be complied with
3. Two cops guarding polio team gunned down in Tank
• Two policemen guarding a polio vaccination team were shot dead by unknown assailants in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa`s Tank district on the second day of the campaign on August 16, 2022.
• `Two gunmen hiding near a small water channel opened fire on the policemen from a very close range,` Waqar Ahmad Khan, Tank`s district police officer (DPO), told the AFP news agency. He said the attackers spared the two-member polio vaccination team and fled on a motorbike.
• The incident occured in Tank`s Kachra Garah village within the limits of Gomal police station.
• Officials have identified the martyred police constables as Nisar, son of Sina Azam of Manzaiarea; and Pir Rehman, son of Ghani Khan of Khargi village.
4. Balochistan cabinet okays commission on missing persons
• The Balochistan cabinet has decided to constitute a high-powered parliamentary commission on the issue of missing persons.
• The body will be headed by the provincial home minister and include two members each from the government and the opposition.
• The cabinet announced the decision after a marathon meeting on Tuesday. `The summary of the commission should be submitted to the Chief Minister as soon as possible,` the cabinet decided
5. Air travellers must declare currency, jewellery: CAA
• The Pakistan Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA) has started implementing Financial Action Task Force (FATF) standards in accordance with the government`s directives for submission of customs` declaration forms by all inbound and outbound passengers of international flights giving details of their currency, gold jewellery, precious stones and restricted goods such as narcotics, weapons, satellite phones, etc.
• Pakistan Customs has been directed to depute its staff at all international airports to facilitate inbound/outbound passengers of all international flights.
• The airlines` crews will distribute the customs` declaration forms during the flights among all passengers, irrespective of their nationality
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